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Posts Tagged ‘defense authorization bill’

Deputy Defense Secretary Takes up the BRAC Mantle

  • November 14, 2014
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During remarks Wednesday focusing on the bind the Pentagon faces between stringent spending caps and a Congress unwilling to embrace the department’s belt-tightening reforms, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work believed there was an opening to make the case for a new round of base closures. “The first place we should look at is our basing infrastructure. The department spends about $55 billion annually to maintain, sustain, and protect its bases,” Work said during the Center for Strategic and International Studies Fifth Annual Global Security Forum. And with recent and planned cuts to the military’s force structure, DOD’s excess capacity, estimated at 24 percent, is only rising, he said …

Air Force Offers Compromise over A-10 Fleet Retirement

  • November 12, 2014
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Air Force leaders have broached the possibility of retiring only 72 A-10 close air support aircraft during fiscal 2015 in response to Congress’ rejection of its proposal to retire its entire fleet of Warthogs. During briefings on Capitol Hill, Air Force officials said they urgently need this limited retirement so they can shift maintenance crews from A-10 units to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Unless the service is allowed to retire three active-duty squadrons, it may not be able to meet the planned Aug. 1, 2016, operational date for the F-35A …

McCain Looks to Reverse Sequestration

  • November 12, 2014
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The incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee said Wednesday that eliminating the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on the Pentagon will be one of his top priorities. “As far as the military is concerned, the blow is too big … and with the world changing as it is, it’s really too biting,” John McCain (R-Ariz.), told reporters. McCain indicated he would hold hearings on the impact of the stringent spending caps. “We’ll be hearing from our services chiefs about how really biting this is …

Authorization Bill Remains on Path to Informal Conference

  • November 12, 2014
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With staff from the House and Senate Armed Services committees having reconciled many of the differences between competing versions of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, the committees’ leadership this week will begin to hash out the higher profile issues that have not yet been settled. The committees’ chairmen, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), and ranking members, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), will focus on more contentious issues affecting the future of the A-10 Warthog aircraft, the Army National Guard helicopter fleet and a Navy initiative to modernize its cruiser fleet. The panels’ best bet for clearing the annual defense policy bill during the lame duck session starting today almost certainly will be to repeat last year’s maneuver …

Reversing Sequestration Missing from Republican Agenda

  • November 11, 2014
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The Republican landslide last week that allowed the party to seize control of the Senate and increase its majority in the House for the most part did not emphasize the tenets of the tea party and its philosophy of slashing government programs, with many of the winners abiding by traditional Republican values such as a strong military. “The isolationist wing of the GOP that favored deficit reduction over a strong defense seems to be in retreat,” Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute, told Defense News. Despite a shift that would seem to favor defense hawks, however, Republican leaders in both chambers last week did not mention relaxing the Budget Control Act spending caps on defense as one of their priorities for the 114th Congress …

Democratic Losses Will Revamp Armed Services Panel in Senate

  • November 5, 2014
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Two Democratic members of the Senate Armed Services Committee lost their re-election bids on Tuesday, but with the Republican Party gaining a majority of the chamber, the panel’s most significant change will be at the top. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is widely expected to take the committee gavel in the 114th Congress and with current chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) retiring, Jack Reed (D-R.I.) is in line to become the ranking member. Reed may opt to take the top Democratic spot on the Banking Committee instead …

Reed May Decline Top Democratic Post on Senate Armed Services

  • October 30, 2014
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Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed (D) has not yet decided whether he wants the top Democratic spot on the Senate Armed Services Committee or the Banking Committee in the next Congress. With the retirement of Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), now Armed Services chairman, and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Banking chair, Reed will be the most senior Democrat on both committees. Reed had been widely expected to take the top spot on Armed Services, but now he appears to be considering the Banking post as a possibility …

Forbes to Pursue Armed Services Chair

  • October 29, 2014
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Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) has decided to challenge frontrunner Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) to chair the House Armed Services Committee in the 114th Congress, a Forbes spokesman said Wednesday. Forbes faces an uphill battle for the powerful post as Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the outgoing chairman, has indicated he favors Thornberry, reported the Hill. Thornberry has served as the panel’s vice chairman since McKeon assumed the top spot four years ago. Forbes chairs the panel’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee; he previously was chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, which is responsible for overseeing installations and BRAC policy …

D.C. Hospital’s Bid for Chunk of Walter Reed Could Jeopardize Reuse Project

  • October 26, 2014
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The State Department’s request to redraw the boundaries for splitting the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center between it and the District of Columbia in response to an effort by a Washington, D.C.-based pediatric hospital to obtain a parcel on the campus threatens the city’s redevelopment plans, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said last week. The Children’s National Medical Center obtained language in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill permitting the Army to convey 13.2 acres to the hospital at no cost for a biomedical research institute. The tract would come out of the 43.5-acre parcel slated to be conveyed to the State Department for a foreign missions center …

Pentagon Likely to Conduct Study of Excess Capacity

  • October 22, 2014
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DOD may study the need for additional base closures even if language in the House version of the fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill calling for a comprehensive assessment of excess infrastructure is stripped from the conference report, John Conger, acting deputy undersecretary for installations and environment, said Wednesday. “Even if it doesn’t end up in the final version, I think it’s a signal that we can go ahead and do a capacity analysis at a parametric level,” Conger told CQ. “It’s not a bad thing to have those numbers,” he said. The bill language directs DOD to compare 20-year force structure plans for each of the services with an inventory of their installations to determine the level of excess infrastructure throughout the department …

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